In 2015 all public sector pension schemes were reformed and new career average schemes were introduced. These reforms also saw the introduction of transitional protection that meant those members within 10 years of their normal pension age could remain in the legacy schemes for a period of time.
In 2018 the Court of Appeal identified the transitional protection as discriminatory based on age (known as the McCloud Judgment). The HM Treasury-led Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill was published earlier this year and is currently progressing through Westminster. This Bill confers the powers required to implement a remedy to remove the discrimination and it also extends to the public service pension schemes in Northern Ireland.
To ensure the legislation dictated in the Bill is followed, scheme-level legislation is required to move all remaining active members of the legacy Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (Classic, Classic Plus, Premium and Nuvos Sections, collectively known as the PCSPS(NI)) into the reformed (alpha) scheme from 1 April 2022. The PCSPS(NI) will be closed in relation to service after 31 March 2022. This will mean the discrimination is removed as all members will be in the same position. This stage of the remedy is known as the Prospective Remedy.
There will be additional scheme-level legislation later in 2022/2023 which deals with the remainder of the remedy work (the Retrospective Remedy).
The Department is now consulting on the Prospective Remedy Amendment Regulations and is inviting comments and views from all interested parties.
The following documentation can be found on this page:
- Consultation Document
- Section 75 Policy Screening Template
- Rural Needs Impact Assessment